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Please, Mr. Einstein

3.18  ·  Rating Details ·  168 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
“You said that time doesn’t exist,” she says, “so I took the liberty of coming to see you.”

“You did the right thing,” he replies without taking his eyes off her.

She is a student with some questions about physics. And he is Albert Einstein, the man who redefined the true nature of reality in the twentieth century. More than sixty years after his death, she finds him in an o
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2005)
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Aug 28, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a curio of a book - basically a philosophy and physics discussion wrapped in the guise of a conversation with Einstein in the present (or at least 2007 when the book was written). I picked it up due to Carriere's links with Bunuel, but there's little surrealism here other than speculation of the universe (which some might argue is surrealism itself). It's hard to know who it is aimed at: those with a background in physics will have little use - there is no 'story' as such - because for t ...more
Shawn Dvorak
Mar 30, 2014 Shawn Dvorak rated it liked it
An unnamed young women discovers through mostly unexplained means that Albert Einstein is still "alive"
in some. sense, and sets out to interview him. She finds him in a nondescript office in an undisclosed city, continuing his physics studies. This setup gives the author the opportunity to explore modern physics, as well as touch on some biographical themes, as Einstein himself provides first-person expositions.

This narration method works pretty well, with Einstein giving explanations about qua
Michele Harrod
Jul 16, 2012 Michele Harrod rated it really liked it
A young woman enters a building, to be quickly welcomed by the receptionist (much to the annoyance of the manner who are already in the waiting room). You know the feeling, you've been one of the waiting group at the doctors, haven't you? This young lady though, enters an office, and meets with Mr Einstein, whom she is studying at University. He is dead - but it seems the world still needs information from him, so here he is ready to answer her questions, along with a few of his own that have ar ...more
Piper Mejia
Jun 28, 2016 Piper Mejia rated it liked it
It is difficult to define what type of book this is and who would enjoy it. On one hand I felt it was trying to be too clever when exploring Einstein's personal philosophy towards the impact his theories has had on our world though a conversation with a time traveler from current time. On the other hand there was a strong sense of personal voice of the author and their own exploration of Einstein's theories. I suggest you give it 20 pages to decide.
May 28, 2012 Joy rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I read most of this book during the recent eclipse and that may add to my liking of it. The story follows a young woman who we observe and follow for what seems like no particular reason. She somehow has attained an address at which Einstein presides though he has been dead for 50 years. It was a nice, relatively light book that was still incredibly thought provoking. Not sure if I totally believe the author's take on all aspects of what Einstein was like (he was a little lax about Einstein's po ...more
Feb 23, 2009 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The entire book takes place in the context of a conversation between a young woman and the ghost of Albert Einstein. We don't know who this mysterious woman is, why she wishes to speak with him (though the idea that she is writing something about him is insinuated), or how she has discovered that Albert Einstein's ghost is living in a nondescript apartment building in the middle of an unnamed city. Through their conversation, the reader is taken on a tour through the cosmos as Einstein explains ...more
Arturo Herrera Colmenero
Jan 22, 2015 Arturo Herrera Colmenero rated it really liked it
This is a splendid approach to science, history and knowledge. Set on a Kafkian Sci-Fi scenario the story unfolds as your brain, emotions and imagination rush.

Whether you want an appealing novel or some other way to approach Relativity Theory you'll find this dialog between Albert Einstein and a "nowadays" young lady a delightful read.
Breann Thompson
Sep 07, 2009 Breann Thompson rated it it was ok
I read this book during some downtime before the start of glasses the NYU graduate school of arts and science. It falls into the category of "interesting concept" but is not something I would leap on to read again and again. I don't feel that there's much that could be gained from multiple readings of this particular novel.

The concepts touched on are explained "enough" for most readers to be capable of following the plot, meger though such plot may be. There is little to no character development
May 29, 2008 Coral rated it it was ok
Perhaps 2 stars is a bit harsh, but I can't bring myself to give it 3.

It's not that it's a bad book; it's that you're dropped into what, essentially, is a conversation between Einstein and a young girl. There's no plot, no character development.

Some of the ideas posed are very interesting and provide good jumping off points for thinking about science in general, and of time, space, physics in particular. But lacking a story to ground the conversation, I didn't grow attached to the girl and fou
Tej Rathore
Apr 26, 2014 Tej Rathore rated it really liked it
Delightful. Quirky. Do not really remember where I got hold of this book but I found it a page turner.
Aug 17, 2011 M rated it liked it
Years after Albert Einstein passed from this mortal coil, our unnamed female protagonist seeks him out in order to understand his ideas. Finding the famous physicist seemingly hale and hearty in an office building, the student and the professor begin a discussion on life and relativity. In this novel, Jean-Claude Carriere crafts a quirky tale of science amidst science-fiction. Breathing life into Einstein's theories and equations is no easy feat! Overall, a fun little book that makes me wonder i ...more
Dec 17, 2008 Carla rated it really liked it
A very interesting conversation between a young girl and Albert Einstein. In reading this novel, I realized I have forgotten so many of the groundbreaking scientific discoveries that have changed our lives. It was interesting to see the author's take on how Einstein would perceive his involvement in the creation of the atom bomb.

This was such a short book but it's one I'll have to revisit again just to understand how so many of the things we take for granted today are based on the scientific wor
Sep 19, 2014 Anu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: v-ri-taustaty-t
Aika hyvä kuviteltu keskustelu Einsteinin ja Newtonin välillä, tykkäsin siitä ajan ulkopuolella olevan paikan, johon Einstein on siirtynyt työskentelemään, ideasta. Tytön rooli jäi vähän oudoksi
Jan 15, 2012 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: shiraz
So far so good, verbose in the French way rather than wordy in the English or repetitive in the American style. At least that was how I thought of it about a third of the way in. The book gets better the further you read, touching on history, philosophy and of course some general physics in a non mathematical way. Information about Einstein and other scientists is, as far as I can from other sources, accurate, and this includes personality traits as well as discoveries discussions. A pleasure to ...more
Jan 31, 2013 heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Philosophical and laical foray into physics, suitable for the curious non-scientist. Begins with a hypothetical question "What if you get to interview Einstein for an afternoon?" and proceeds to explain how mankind's modern physics began from Newton's classical mechanics up to Einstein's own theories of special and general relativity.
Jul 18, 2007 Hillary rated it really liked it
reading this book was an exercise in mental exhaustion. i would literally read about 4 paragraphs, then declare myself too tired to go on. this book definitely made me think about things in ways i hadn't before. and i completely appreciate that this is a book about relativity, and the book, itself, is relative.
Oct 30, 2012 Chantelle rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Very little plot. I was pulled in by the imaginative idea of being able to have a conversation with the deceased Einstein, but the book does little to develop the possibilitis of this idea. Mostly a one-sided discussion of physics, assuming to put words into Einstein's mouth. I found it boring.
Bookmarks Magazine

Best known for his work on the French films Belle du Jour and the Academy Award?winning social satire The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, screenwriter, actor, and author Jean-Claude Carri_

Beverly Atkinson
Feb 20, 2012 Beverly Atkinson rated it really liked it
An intriguing read. The concepts visualized in novel form are difficult, so read and read, allowing yourself to absorb and comprehend the mysteries and beauties of space, light and sound relativity.
Deanna Beaton
Mar 30, 2013 Deanna Beaton rated it really liked it
It was a pretty easy read & interesting. It's sort of cute, since it's obviously a fictional interview with Einstein. It made me feel smarter, so that's always good.
The concept was much better than the execution. Pretty slow until Chapter 8 where the discussion becomes more philosophical. I liked Einstein's Dreams much better.
Sep 18, 2016 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: miscellaneous
I liked it a lot at first and I like how the reader is following the girl with the narrator. I was soon over my head with the physics though.
Jun 05, 2013 Dave rated it liked it
I don't remember so I am reading it again. I suspect I thought it was good or at least the concept was very interesting.
Jan 13, 2008 Alimaemia rated it liked it
I liked this book, I guess it was a little too... simplistic for the ideas it was trying to tackle, but I liked the premise.
i'm still a little (okay, a lot) shaky on most of the physics principles, but it's kind of cool anyway
Dec 19, 2011 Anna rated it liked it
Interesting--felt like an expanation of quantum physics for English majors.
Aug 19, 2009 Brian rated it it was ok
Eh, so so....maybe a little got lost in translation...
Apr 13, 2010 Kelley rated it liked it
I liked Einstein's Dreams so much better.
Jul 03, 2007 Barbara rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who love science
It was interesting, good for the brain.
Joannabarnsley rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2016
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Jean-Claude Carrière is a writer, playwright and screenwriter, who has also written under the pseudonym Benoît Becker.
More about Jean-Claude Carrière...

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